At the end of March, we went out walking with the leisure group again. We set off from the church in Vitrac St Vincent for a ramble which the leaders said would be about 6km (4 miles or so). To read more about the village, take a look at my post HERE
Turning immediately down a narrow lane, we found ourselves next to the small stream that runs westwards towards Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure, and the first things to take my eye were the lovely curled hinges on this barn door. Some old-fashioned craftsmanship executed on a humble barn!
Looking back the way we had come, I took this view of Vitrac, an angle that we would not normally see from the road, as the village is in a deep valley and the road drops steeply from both approaches down into the valley, giving views only of the rooftops! In the background is one of the hills, down which the road comes from the east side.
The group ambling along in front of me
The hawthorn was quite spectacular, the blossom no doubt coming out in response to the unusually warm and sunny weather.
the cowslips were no less stunning
and the celandines. Sadly we did not get to view the sea of blue that would be there now, as the bluebells we passed were only just coming into bud.
This is the first time I have ever seen a scarecrow to keep the herons away; this privately owned pool obviously is a good fishing spot.
A bit further along, we encountered this small building, which the locals were describing as a chapel, at Saint Vincent. (A small hamlet that comes under the commune of Vitrac Saint Vincent).
As we got closer, this old cross was prominently sited
and, walking around the back, we discovered that the door was open, revealing a small chapel and crypt. There was a small altar on the far wall, and the space also contained
6 large tombstones, two vertical and 4 horizontal. The building seemed to be a family crypt, with the burials dating from the early 1800's to the earlier part of the 1900's. Ages of the deceased varied from middle 70's to the youngest at 20, but the later deaths seemed unrelated to WW1. The place did look rather unkempt and neglected, but my guess is that the family still lives in the area.
More steps took us to this barn, which looked as if it had not been used for some time. Not unusual in these parts!
and I was fascinated by this delightful door chime.
Some more turnings, and another lane brought us to Le Logis de Saint Vincent. Logis (lojh-ee) means "home" or "dwelling" in French. Whilst these walls now enclose the premises of a company whose business is concerned with drainage equipment, we do know that in the 1940's, the large multi-storey complex was used as a type of orphanage. This may have been the original purpose of the building, as it was clearly built much more than a century ago.
At the back of the building is this large pool, where we understand that some of the orphanage children used to fish.
Heading for home, we saw this quite elaborate but modern stone post box at the entrance to a residence
followed by the usual view we see of Vitrac Saint Vincent, the roof tops!
We finished the walk back at the church and the 6 kilometre round trip was confirmed. Not really that far, but much to see!!
We ended the walk with coffee and cakes at one of the picnic tables provided by the council on a grassy area across the road from the church, and next to the stream. The walkers all seemed to enjoy the outing and were pleased to relax in this tranquil spot at the end of a very hot and sunny March day.
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